Fading away obsoleted ccTLDs: some technical suggestions
Colleagues, the problem with those two TLDs, specially with .SU, is that the administrating organizations just ignore the ICANN's statements, isn't it? Precisely speaking, they ignore the decisions made by ICANN that the domains are to be closed, and refuse to notify their users about the fact the domains are not to be actively used any longer. If we speak about .SU, the administrator even continues commercial registrations in the zone which is to disappear in accordance to the ICANN's policy. They have no right nor permission to do so; the official page devoted to the .SU ccTLD displays no official registration service URL, and as far as I know there's no official agreement of any kind between ICANN and the present administrator of .SU. However, they continue to tell their customers that ICANN never took any official decisions about removing of the domain and there's nothing to worry about, and continue to collect money from lots of new unaware customers. Once you publish another decision, they even start to say that their customers perhaps will have to sue ICANN (!), while as far as I understand, they'd better sue the unfair administrator. Definitely all this fraud needs to be stopped. If you let the things be as they are, this violation of the well-known ccTLD delegation policy will be used as a good example for more unfair people who deal with domains. Don't let this go. However, I perfectly realize you don't wand to do too much harm to those customers; unfairness of the ccTLD's administrator is not a reason to beat customers. Well, the problem is that any public statements about the domain removal to take place in the near future, will effectively NOT BE HEARD by the customers because they tend to listen to their domain registrator rather than ICANN; most of them just don't know what ICANN is and how does DNS operate. So, my suggestion is to take the power away from the unfair administrators of obsoleted ccTLDs. This easily can be done by taking an AXFR snapshot of the ccTLD DNS zone. The snapshot can then be placed to some ICANN-controlled DNS servers, and the delegation of the ccTLD can be changed accordingly. This action can start the actual sunset period. Having no technical ability of registering new domains and changins DNS servers for the existing ones, the ex-administrator will just HAVE to stop unfair registrations and finally tell the customers the truth: the domain is to be removed. It's obvious that your message about the domain's removal will definitely be heared. From the other hand, the existing domains will continue to operate, so most of the users will have enough time to bring up alternative sites, place redirectors and notify all their partners about changing of all the relevant URLs. The solution has a certain drawback, which is in the fact the users of SLDs will have no capability to change DNS servers for their domains during the sunset period. I realize ICANN can't take this activity because it would require ICANN to know all the SLD customers, their credentials, etc. Ok, in fact I believe it's not too bad. This will probably force some of SLD users to move to another TLD faster; and you know it's always possible to keep DNS servers just where they are for another month or two, if one really needs the domain to continue operation. If it's not too hard technically, you possibly should get rid of lame delegations diring the sunset period, that is, if the server on which a SLD is delegated stops to serve as the authoritative server for the SLD, the delegation should probably be removed. It is not obligatory though. Anyway, the sunset period must be not too long. I believe 6 month will be sufficient. A period of 1 year is an absolute maximum. After that, the delegation of the domain should be removed. Please take into the account you have already made LOTS of official statements, so you're absolutely free even to drop the domain from the root zone right now, without any sunset periods. BTW, this is the thing which should be done in case the administrator of .SU or .TP will refuse to give away the AXFR snapshot of the zone. In fact, I strongly believe that the domain .SU should have disappeared several years ago, before Platonov's crew opened the commercial registrations in it. I even sent you a letter in 2001, with the title "Unfair games around ccTLD .SU", here is it: http://www.ofisp.org/forum-d/0110/msg00018.html If you have heard my warning, you'd have lesser problems now. Ok, the things done are just that: done. But the longer you wait with all this, the more problems you have doing the right thing. Please don't wait any longer and take actions. BTW, let me say I feel ashamed for all those people who send you crap like "hands off SU" and the like. Most of them don't know what DNS is; they are just victims of unfair propagation by the .SU crew. They even don't realize it's against the netiquette to answer the questions which noone have asked. You don't ask whether .SU should be removed or not, you just ask HOW should it get removed. And that's right, the consistent policy of the root zone is far more important for The Internet than someone's corporate or political ambitions. So, please don't listen to those barbarians. They don't know what they do. With the best regards, Andrey Stolyarov P.S. I'm not affiliated with any ISPs or other telecommunication companies since late 2000, so you can feel absolutely free about me serving any unfair competition interests. The only thing I consider is keepeng the order within the root DNS zone. Being on Internet since 1993, I know how important it is.